National News

Amazon launches programme to donate sellers’ unwanted products to nominated charities

Amazon are launching Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations, a new program where eligible excess and returned products from sellers using FBA will be made available to charitable organisations. Amazon will start donating products from sellers starting this September in the U.S. and UK, providing helpful items to people in need. Amazon works with charity partners and manages logistics to streamline the donation process for independent sellers.

FBA Donations builds on Amazon’s long history of donating millions of Amazon retail products to charities each year. In the U.S., Amazon is working with Good360, a global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving. Good360 partners with retailers and consumer goods companies to source highly needed products and distribute them through a network of diverse nonprofits that support people in need. In the UK, Amazon is working with charities including NewlifeSalvation Army, and Barnardo’s.

“We know getting products into the hands of those who need them transforms lives and strengthens local communities,” said Alice Shobe, Director, Amazon in the Community. “We are delighted to extend this program to sellers who use our fulfillment services.”

To read the press release, and for follow up news go to the Amazon blog site



Young people’s perspectives on knife crime

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Knife Crime convened a special meeting bringing together MPs and Peers with 16 young people who had been convicted of knife offences or had been victims of knife crime.

The young people came from cities across England and Wales including London, Sunderland, Manchester and Cardiff, as well as smaller towns in areas such as Essex and South Wales. The group of young people was ethnically diverse and included male and female participants. Young people were accompanied by youth workers or representatives of local youth offending teams, who helped prepare them for the session and guide them through the discussion.

They discussed the causes of knife carrying and knife crime in small groups before a wider discussion chaired by APPG Chair, Sarah Jones MP. Around 20 MPs and Peers from the APPG attended, including senior parliamentarians and shadow ministers. All the conversations were recorded and comments transcribed, with young people’s comments anonymised.

The resulting report covers five major themes which were particularly prominent during the discussion. These are:

  1. Reasons for carrying knives
  2. Root causes and prevention
  3. Social media
  4. Policing, drugs and county lines
  5. Sentencing and prisons

You can read the report as an online pdf here

‘Youth Service Guarantee’ needed to protect young people from serious violence

In its report on Serious youth violence the Home Affairs Committee says the rise in serious youth violence is a social emergency, and that young people have been failed in the most devastating way, losing their lives as a result.

The Committee says that the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy is a completely inadequate response to the wave of violence blighting our communities. The Committee is calling for:

  • Stronger focus, leadership and direction from the Government and Prime Minister, and an accountable leader in every local area reporting to the Prime Minister on action to bring serious violence down.
  • Major investment in local youth services and prevention work – including a new ‘Youth Service Guarantee’ to help prevent young people becoming caught up in violence.
  • Urgent action to tackle county lines – including stronger local safeguarding plans.
  • Substantial additional resources for policing.
  • All schools in areas with above average risk of youth violence to have dedicated police officers.
  • Action to cut school exclusions and end the part-time timetables in alternative education provision.

To read the report go to the Parliament website

Preventing falls in people with learning disabilities

This guide from Public Health England contains information to help staff in public health, health services and social care to prevent falls in people with learning disabilities.

It is also intended to help falls prevention services to provide support that is accessible to people with learning disabilities. The guide aims to be of use to family carers, friends and paid support staff to help them think about what risks may contribute to falls and how to reduce such risks.

For more information, and to download the guide, go to the Goverment website

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2018 

According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS):

  • There were 4,359 deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2018, the highest number and the highest annual increase (16%) since the time series began in 1993.
  • The male drug poisoning rate has significantly increased from 89.6 per million males in 2017 to 105.4 in 2018; while the female rate increased for the ninth consecutive year to 47.5 per million females in 2018, the latest increase was not statistically significant compared to 2017.
  • Two-thirds (or 2,917) of drug-related deaths were related to drug misuse, accounting for 50.9 deaths per million people in 2018.
  • The North East had a significantly higher rate of deaths relating to drug misuse than all other English regions; London had the lowest rate.
  • Between 2017 and 2018, there were increases in the number of deaths involving a wide range of substances, though opiates, such as heroin and morphine, continued to be the most frequently mentioned type of drug

For more information go to the ONS website.

Health inequalities in ageing in rural and coastal areas

The majority of studies reported older people in rural areas experienced reduced rates of mortality compared to other areas, with some contradictory evidence.

However, a number of studies found poorer physical health in rural and coastal populations, again with some contradictory evidence. There is some evidence of a slight increase in the prevalence of widespread musculoskeletal pain with greater rurality. Evidence indicates that mental health problems are associated with living in a rural or coastal area, and that neurological problems are associated with living in a rural area.

However, in both cases there is some contradictory evidence. The main drivers of inequalities included social exclusion and isolation, access to and awareness of health and other community services, financial difficulties including fuel poverty and housing issues, a lack of transport and distance from services, low levels of physical activity, and mobility or existing poor health as the healthiest populations were those of working age moving out of rural areas.

You can read the full findings here

Help the Charity Commission improve its safeguarding guidance

In October 2018 the Commission launched refreshed guidance about Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees. The issue of safeguarding and protecting people has continued to dominate the headlines, with the sector producing new tools and resources to help support charities.

The guidance is intended to be a clear, concise overview of what trustees need to do, signposting to other sources of support on specific issues.

Given the diversity of the charity sector, the aim is that it is useful to all charities, regardless of size or purpose: that it is a starting point for all trustees to understand their duties which then signposts to specialist advice on specific issues.

As the awareness of this issue grows the Commission want to understand how you use this guidance and whether you find it useful. Does it cover the matters you need to know more about? If you used the links to specialist information on other websites was there a link to the information you needed?

Complete their short survey about how you use this guidance. It will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Your answers will be completely anonymous and the Commission don’t collect any personal data.

Digital Skills In The Charity Sector

In her NCVO blog, Megan Griffith Gray tells us that researchers have found that over a third, 36%, of voluntary sector employers believe their staff are missing digital skills. As many as 43% said that their job applicants were missing these skills.

This resonates with other research. For example, the Lloyds Bank Charity Digital Index found that 48% of charities do not have all five ‘basic digital skills’. ‘Problem solving’ is the area with the greatest gap, with only 64% of charities skilled in this area, which includes important tasks like using technology to reduce costs and increase efficiency, using online feedback to influence products and services, and using analytics to improve websites.

Researchers found that the voluntary sector is doing a little worse on digital skills than the private sector, but better than the public sector. Nevertheless, this skills gap is a serious strategic weakness for the sector as we look to adapt and maximise what we can do in a digital age.

You can read the full blog here

Preventing offending and re-offending by children

This resource from Public Health England outlines how health, education, social care, criminal justice, voluntary sector services and others can work together to stop children and young people offending.

Collaborative approaches to preventing offending and re-offending by children (CAPRICORN) is a framework that has been developed by Public Health England, working with stakeholders in national and local government, the NHS, academia and the voluntary sector.

As well as the full report and summary, available here, you can also download a slide pack which gives you some infographics and other material for presentations.

Extended date for changes to public display names on the charity register

As part of changes to the Charity Commission’s online services, if current trustees have used a public display name on the charity register their full legal name will be displayed to the public, unless they apply to have it removed. This is known as a dispensation.

These changes were due to happen this year (2019) but the Commissison has extended this to give trustees more time to apply for a dispensation if needed. The changes will now happen from 1 April 2020.

They can grant a dispensation if displaying a legal name to the public could put the relevant person or people in personal danger. Dispensations will not be granted automatically.

Find out about display name changes and how to apply for a dispensation.

If trustees have already been granted a dispensation for their legal name not to be displayed to the public on the register, this will be retained. There is no need to apply for a dispensation again.